MOVIE REVIEW: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Outstanding comedy drama from Writer Director Martin McDonagh.  A woman finds three run down billboards on an old country road and pays to have a message sent to the local Sheriff Department over the rape and murder of her teen daughter.  What follows will affect the lives of anyone even remotely involved in the lives of those in the town.

If you’ve followed Martin McDonagh’s career over the last few years and films you probably have a favourite, up until Three Billboards mine was In Bruges, but that is now in second place.  Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri hits nearly every emotional punch with inch perfect precision and knocks down your psyche by keeping you off-balance.

Frances McDormand plays Mildred, a Mother of two who has had the hard knocks of life all the way through, a year after her Daughter was found raped, murdered, and burnt she feels that the local Sheriff has done nothing in the case.  In securing the billboards with the message it stirs up different emotions around the town. McDormand is sure for Oscar glory after this role, she’s so deadpan comedic while delivering a pitch perfect dramatic role that you just are in awe of her talent.  This is the first time since Fargo I feel that he talents have been put to proper use.  Playing the local Sheriff who is going through the later stages of Cancer is Woody Harrelson who is desperate to know that before he dies that he’s done enough with the case.  Harrelson has for the last few years been on the high that his talent deserves, with the exception of Now You See Me 2, which we’ll gloss over, he’s proving that he is one of the greats of his generation.

But the performance that struck me the most with the journey that the character goes on was Sam Rockwell as Deputy Dixon.  Dixon starts off as the comedy Racist of the town, a pure idiot who through the film actually grows.  McDonagh and Rockwell take this character through a complete turnaround, you wouldn’t think is possible, but there is a part of me that believes he would become a better person with the right poke.

The story travels through every emotion in the book and makes sure that your feels are touched too.  You don’t just see characters going through changes you feel their changes and want better things for every one of them.  Although I truly loved watching this film there was a feeling of the lack of resolution in the case of Mildred’s daughter that let me down.  But the true ending of the film was delightful and wonderful, leaving the audience to make up their own minds about the fate of the characters.

This is not your typical comedy drama, it’s a film for adults, dealing with life that we all have to deal with ourselves, maybe not the murder/rape/burning stuff, fingers crossed.  That’s almost the kindling to the flame that ignites through the film.  It’s about how we manage to take the punches of life and keep on going, because the only other option is to check out, and that makes no sense for anyone.  Three Billboards should hit every awards show from now until next year with nearly every section being covered.  McDonagh comes of age, not relying on the foul language and over the top situations that he’s leant on before, rather giving us a true story with people acting how you’d think they would act.  This film is something that you will not expect and something that you need in your life.  Get out and see it.

Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Stars: Frances McDormandWoody HarrelsonSam Rockwell & more…… See full cast & crew

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